Home News Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Hamas and Israel to restrain conflict

Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Hamas and Israel to restrain conflict

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When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Beijing in June, China pledged to contribute “Chinese wisdom, Chinese strength” to resolve the long-standing conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. This commitment was seen as part of China’s ambition to expand its diplomatic influence in the Middle East, traditionally dominated by the United States. However, China’s response to the recent outbreak of war between Israel and Gaza has been relatively restrained.

So far, China has called for restraint from both sides without condemning Hamas for their attack on Israel. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has yet to make a public statement on the conflict. This initial response has led experts to question China’s limited influence in the region and its credibility as a peacemaker.

While the United States and other countries have condemned Hamas for their actions, Beijing has refrained from calling out the group and presented itself as a neutral party. The Chinese Foreign Ministry reiterated its support for a “two-state solution” and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

This muted reaction has drawn criticism from Israel, who expected a stronger condemnation of Hamas from China. US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also expressed disappointment with China’s response during a meeting with Xi Jinping.

In response to the criticism, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson expressed sadness over civilian casualties but did not explicitly consider Hamas’ attacks on civilians as terrorist acts. China continued to maintain an ambiguous stance, referring to the crisis as an “escalation of tensions and violence between Palestine and Israel” without specifically naming Hamas.

China’s reluctance to name or condemn Hamas has drawn comparisons to its response to the Ukraine war, where China has refused to condemn Russia’s aggression. Additionally, China’s stance on Hamas’ violence contrasts with its “zero-tolerance” approach to terrorism in Xinjiang, where authorities have implemented a security crackdown against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.

Overall, China’s response to the Israel-Gaza war reflects its limited influence in the region, despite its aspirations as a peacemaker. The lack of explicit condemnation of Hamas and its ambiguous stance have raised doubts about China’s credibility in resolving the complex Palestine-Israel conflict.

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